The Oakland Athletics are about to embark on an important week. The A’s, currently in sole possession of the second wild card spot in the American League, will begin an important four-game set on Monday in Houston against the Astros. (Cleveland, Oakland’s only real competition for the playoff spot, meanwhile, will be playing the Los Angeles Angels.) Fortunately for the A’s, they’ll have some added help on hand beginning with the first game of the series.
That’s because the A’s will reportedly bring up left-handed prospect Jesus Luzardo:
Luzardo, 22 later in the month, was originally acquired as part of the Sean Doolittle trade. He’s considered one of the better left-handed pitching prospects in baseball thanks to his above-average fastball and command as well as a well-above-average changeup.
Luzardo has thrown just 43 innings this season due to shoulder woes. He didn’t make his debut this year until June, and was later shut down for another month. Since returning in early August, he’s appeared six times and has posted a 2.28 ERA and 26 more strikeouts than walks in 23 innings. He threw a season-high 93 pitches last time out.
It’s unclear how the A’s intend to deploy Luzardo given that the team is already using a six-pitcher rotation. Luzardo is the third big-time left-handed addition to Oakland’s pitching staff in the past month, joining fellow prospect A.J. Puk and Sean Manaea, who returned from injury last Sunday.
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